Kemba Walker is easily the Charlotte Hornets most best player now and (most likely) in franchise history. He’s developed into a 2-time All-Star, but the Hornets aren’t winning, and with Walker’s contract up after next season, there has been increased talk over the Hornets potentially trading him.
While Mitch Kupchak has said he isn’t looking to blow up the team right now, it makes sense for him to continue monitoring Walker’s trade value. Walker is going to be on the final season of a four-year contract signed in 2014 worth about $12 million. Walker recently said, “I’m tired of missing the playoffs” in an interview with the Charlotte Observer’s Rick Bonnell. If the Hornets fail to do so in an increasingly tough Eastern Conference next season, it might be the end of the Kemba Walker era in Charlotte.
The Hornets are almost to the luxury tax threshold, and with a team as uncompetitive as MJ’s the past few seasons, it might be worthwhile to consider trading Walker before Charlotte loses him for nothing.
But what kind of value could they get in return? Here are few ideas:
Trade Scenario 1:
Phoenix Suns Receive: Kemba Walker
Charlotte Hornets Receive: 16th overall pick, Miami Heat First Round Pick (2021), Dragan Bender
With Devin Booker becoming increasingly frustrated not making the playoffs, the Suns front office has said that it will be “very aggressive” this off-season. Walker provides an immediate impact at the point-guard spot for Phoenix. Charlotte, in turn, receives a mid-first round pick this year, a developmental player, and an unprotected first-round pick going into the future. If the Hornets want to do a rebuild correctly, this might be one of the most promising offers that they could get.
Trade Scenario 2:
Cleveland Cavaliers Receive: Kemba Walker
Charlotte Hornets Receive: 8th overall pick, Jordan Clarkson
The Cavaliers have been one of the most linked teams in attempting to trade for Walker. This trade only bolsters the Cavs chances at keeping Lebron James next season, as they add another All-Star caliber player. Charlotte gets a top-10 draft pick which could land Wendell Carter, Trae Young, or even Michael Porter Jr. This trade is one of the few that makes a lot of sense for both teams involved.
Trade Scenario 3:
Detroit Pistons Receive: Kemba Walker, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
Charlotte Hornets Receive: 2019 First Round Pick, Reggie Bullock, Reggie Jackson, Henry Ellenson
The Pistons are in dire need of another star player now that they have both Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond. Reggie Jackson does not cut it so they send him to Charlotte along with their starting wing and promising big. Charlotte obtains a future first-round pick in this trade. They also get a starting small-forward and another project player for James Borrego to develop. Not to mention, they get rid of Michael Kidd-Gilchrist’s contract.
Trade Scenario 4:
Indiana Pacers Receive: Kemba Walker
Charlotte Hornets Receive: Cory Joseph, TJ Leaf, 23rd overall pick
This isn’t a sexy trade by any means, but the Pacers get a star-PG to pair with Victor Oladipo. The Pacers also hold on to most of their cap room, while moving Darren Collison to their bench. Charlotte gets a perennial backup point-guard, another promising young player, and of course, a draft pick. Out of all the trade scenarios listed thus far, this one is one of the most likely.
Trade Scenario 5:
Los Angeles Lakers Receive: Kemba Walker
Charlotte Hornets Recieve: Brandon Ingram
The Lakers recently came out and said that no player apart of their young core is untouchable. And with the public knowledge that the Lakers have been wanting to make not just one, but multiple splashes in free agency this off-season, adding Walker might help their pitch to attract free agents.
In this deal, Charlotte gets the second overall pick in the 2016 draft. Ingram has not produced to standards yet, but he has flown under the radar recently. Last season, he averaged 16 points, five rebounds, and four assists on about 34 minutes per game. This would be one of the most intriguing trades on this list.
Which of these trades would you prefer the most?
This poll is closed
Phoenix Suns trade
Cleveland Cavaliers trade
Detroit Pistons trade
Indiana Pacers trade
LA Lakers trade
None. The Hornets should keep him for now.